What is IoT – Everything You Need to Know
On August 1, 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing 13 people, since steel plates were inadequate to handle the bridge’s load.
During its reconstruction, when the Internet of Things (IoT) enters the game, the bridge was instrumented with more than 500 sensors that supervise load distribution, strain, temperature, vibrations, the possibility for corrosion, and the overall movement of the bridge.
Other sensors were installed to inspect the bridge’s security and control lighting systems and automatic anti-icing – and the problem is solved permanently.
Today, the IoT is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how you live but also how you work.
What is IoT?
The “internet of things” refers to the connection of devices (except smartphones and computers) to the Internet. Kitchen appliances, cars, and heart monitors can all be connected via the IoT. It provides businesses and people better insight into and control over 99% of objects and environments that stay beyond the reach of the Internet.
And by doing so, IoT technology enables businesses and people to be more connected and to do more meaningful, higher-level work.
And as the Internet of Things (7 billion devices in 2019) grows in the next few years, more devices will join that list.
How Does It work?
IoT-based devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge devices where information is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Often, these devices communicate with other related tools and act on the info they get from one another.
They do most of the work without human intervention, while users can interact with these devices – for example, to set them up, access the data, or give them instructions.
The networking, connectivity, and communication protocols used with these web-enabled devices mainly rely on the specific IoT apps deployed.
What is Internet of Things Device?
Any stand-alone web-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location is considered as an IoT device. With smaller, more powerful chips, almost all products can be IoT devices.
IoT involves wider Internet connectivity beyond standard devices, like desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, to any range of non-Internet-connected physical devices and everyday objects.
What is IoT Ecosystem?
All the components that allow businesses, governments, and costumers to connect to their IoT devices, including networks, remotes, dashboards, networks, gateways, analytics, data storage, and security, are part of this ecosystem.
It’s like an environment that consists of data and monetary flows that helps in connecting vendors and enterprises together. This new chain of development is the best way to connect companies.
Internet of Things: Benefits
It offers several advantages to businesses, enabling them to:
- Monitor overall business process;
- Boost the customer experience;
- Save time & money;
- Maximize employee productivity;
- Incorporate and adapt business models;
- Make better corporate decisions;
- Produce more revenue.
Who is Using IoT?
Many industries exploit this technology to understand customer needs in real-time, become more responsive, upgrade the machine and system quality on the fly, facilitate operations and find innovative ways to operate as part of their digital transformation efforts.
Manufacturing – It fuses all components of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) operation – from supply chain to delivery – for a well-integrated production process. Advanced IoT sensors in warehouse shelves or factory machines, along with big data analytics and predictive modeling, can prevent downtime and defects, boost equipment performance, reduce warranty costs, maximize production, yield, and improve the consumer experience.
Retail – It pools data, analytics, and marketing processes across locations. Retailers apply this data from in-store and digital channels and use analytics (including AI) for real-time, contextual listening, and to understand preferences and behavior patterns. They often utilize IoT connected devices like RFID inventory tracking chips, cellular or Wi-Fi systems, beacons, and smart shelves in their business strategy.
Health care – This technology captures data streaming in real-time from the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) – including wearables and other medical connected devices that supervise exercise, sleep, and other health habits. This data allows precise diagnoses and treatment plans to enhance patient safety/outcomes and streamline care delivery.
Transportation/logistics – IoT with geofence-enabled location intelligence and AI, deployed across the value chain, can deliver better efficiency and reliability for transportation and logistics companies. This tech can increase service quality, minimize downtime, and improve customer satisfaction. It can also enhance safety and cut costs by managing, tracking, and monitoring connected vehicles, freight, and other mobile assets in real-time.
Energy – It helps providers deliver reliable, fair-priced services, and products. IoT connected machines and devices predict issues before they occur. Distributed grid resources such as wind and solar are integrated through IoT. In addition, behavior data – collected from smart homes – boosts security/convenience and informs the development of customized services.
Government – This system used to address many real-world problems; city services, traffic congestion, economic development, citizen engagement, and public safety/security. For example, smart cities often embed smart sensors into the physical structure, including streetlights, water meters, and traffic signals.
Internet of Things: Examples
Here’re 10 best examples of IoT based apps in the industry.
They consist of manual digital sensors connected to circuit boards like Raspberry Pi2 or Arduino Uno. The circuit boards can be configured to measure a range of data gathered from a sensor device, including temperature, carbon monoxide, motion, pressure, vibration, and humidity.
What differences IoT sensors from simple sensors, is that they not only collect data in various physical environments but also transmits data to the connected devices.
The sensors enable seamless control of data through automation, delivering actionable insights. Companies can use them for predictive maintenance, enhanced efficiency, and reduced costs.
2. Data analytics
Enterprises are increasingly using IoT data analytics to determine trends and patterns by analyzing small and big data.
IoT data analytics applications can analyze structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data to extract meaningful insights.
It can be applied to the data analytics to survey different kinds of data, such as motion data sets, health care data, and geographical data.
It can be utilized by businesses for predictive and descriptive analysis to enhance customer knowledge, improve operational efficiency, and produce business value.
3. Tracking and monitoring system
A lot of companies are employing these systems for asset tracking. Smart asset tracking devices utilize GPS or RF to track and monitor properties. The smart devices can be exploited for long-range identification and verification of assets.
4. Connected factory
Business owners can also use these connected factory solutions like Azure IoT for the management of industrial devices. The connected cloud software can be ‘filled’ with different resources that allow control of a range of devices.
The connected factory solution can report critical metrics data such as telemetry data and equipment efficiency. The data can be collected with assets located at various geo-locations. You can apply the connected factory solution for connecting, monitoring, and control industrial devices.
The wearable devices are part of the IoT ecosystem, and you probably own a few products as well. Google’s popular Glass project got shelved, but that hasn’t shut the probabilities of what the tech has to offer.
From FitBits to smartwatches, anything you’re wearing that is connected to the Internet is a piece of IoT puzzle. By sensors again, these devices communicate data to give you the most precise info on your needs.
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6. Smart homes
Designed to deliver optimum security and convenience, smart homes ensure you come back to a perfect home environment.
Imagine controlling the lights of your cottage to remote create an impression of you being inside of safety purposes when you are actually holidaying at Seychelles.
Also, you can turn on your air conditioner precisely 30 minutes before you reach your home for that ideal room temperature. Or, you can record your favorite show from wherever you’re and watching it later.
7. Amazon Go
Amazon has always been Usain Bolt in implementing new technologies, and the giant hasn’t overlooked IoT as well.
After its successful online store, Amazon has now decided to use the Internet of Things to back its retail stores, which will have no cash counters or cashiers.
Utilizing sensors, online wallets, and your account, computers or machines will take over the brick and mortar stores and still provide you online shopping experience.
The store has counters of products organized like in a conventional store. But when you select a product, the sensors immediately add the item to your cart.
Therefore, when you leave the store, the money is subtracted from your Amazon wallet, and you can walk out of the store after shopping.
8. Smart security system
In the past, a motion detector was the most advanced device that you could have to secure your house against intruders—but modern home monitors are much more sophisticated.
For instance, the Canary mixes video, audio, motion detection, night vision, a siren, temperature, air quality, and humidity sensors into one device that you can control from your smartphone.
Piper is a similar platform that works as a security system/home monitoring device, and it can also serve as a speaker, allowing you to speak to anyone in your home even if you’re away.
These platforms are pushing the boundaries of how in control you can be, regardless of where you’re.
9. Smart farming
Smart farming changes the way plants are nurtured and grown right now. Among the tools that facilitate and enhance the main process in agriculture, drones, cloud platforms, different monitoring solutions, and improved analytics help contemporary farmers significantly.
It brings the ability to track climate change, weather conditions, soil composition, and a crop’s state and growth progress instantly.
Plus, cattle monitoring and management capabilities involve checking the location and health condition of the animals.
10. Health care apps
The Internet of things in healthcare is aimed at empowering people to live a healthier life by wearing connected devices. The gathered data will help in the personalized analysis of an individual’s health and provide tailor-made strategies to combat illness.
What are IoT Platforms?
IoT device connects to another to send information utilizing Internet transfer protocols. These platforms run as the bridge between the devices’ sensors and data networks.
The following are the best IoT-based platforms on the market today:
- Microsoft Azure;
- Amazon Web Services;
- Cisco IoT Cloud Connect;
- IBM’s Watson;
- Salesforce IoT Cloud;
- GE Predix;
- Oracle Integrated Cloud.
Major IoT Companies?
There are hundreds of enterprises linked to this modern ecosystem, and the list will only expand in the coming years. Below are some of the major names in this industry:
- Amazon (AMZN);
- Microsoft (MSFT);
- Google (GOOGL);
- IBM (IBM);
- Cisco (CSCO);
- AT&T (T);
- Verizon (VZ);
- Fitbit (FIT);
- GE (GE);
- Garmin (GRMN);
- BlackRock (BLK);
- Honeywell (HON).
From smart thermostats, remote door locks, connected home hubs, and all the different app-controlled appliances, chances are, you already know how useful IoT is in your everyday life. Internet of Things is growing in importance, both for everyday and industrial use. It’s making your life better in so many ways, and it’ll likely continue to do so.